February 14, 2024

Who’s up for a challenge?


Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

Your team.

10 years ago I heard a take on retention that stuck with me: “Employees just want to be challenged.”

For context, this was at the peak of the Forced Fun era. When companies thought they could retain people by turning offices into play rooms.

Ping pong. Bean bags. Video games. Beer on tap. It’s funny to think this was a thing.

To clarify the context: “Challenged” meaning learning & growth opportunities. Training paired with new projects or even new roles. (Not “challenged” as in management being a pain in the a$$)

Learn something new. Apply those skills. And  be rewarded for it with a promotion or monetary bonus or whatever.

Fast forward to today. LinkedIn Learning came out with a waaaaaaaay to long report a couple weeks ago. “Top five factors when considering a new job”  on slide 23.

To my total lack of surprise, it was:

  1. Money
  2. Work/Remote Flex
  3. Learn & Grow
  4. Learn & Grow
  5. Learn & Grow

Remote work was added to the mix. But it’s still the same playbook. We just have different “noise” getting in the way.

Forced Fun was replaced with JV tier ‘learning’ webinars and faux wellness initiatives. (Don’t come at me for being anti-wellness. There was a study out of Oxford on how workplace wellness offerings are pretty much a waste of time.)

Tldr: The winning formula is (and has always been) to hire ambitious people who want to do more. And show them how to do it.

Partner at Hirewell. #3 Ranked Sarcastic Commenter on LinkedIn.

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